Floats showcasing India's links with ASEAN nations on display at Republic Day

Updated: Jan 27, 2018, 11:21 IST | PTI

Two tableaux showcasing India's strong historical, cultural and religious bonds with the ASEAN nations were among the 23 colourful floats that rolled down the Rajpath during the 69th Republic Day parade here

A tableaux of the All India Radio take part in the full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi
A tableaux of the All India Radio take part in the full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi

Two tableaux showcasing India's strong historical, cultural and religious bonds with the ASEAN nations were among the 23 colourful floats that rolled down the Rajpath during the 69th Republic Day parade here.

Named 'ASEAN-India at 25', the tableaux, made by the ministry of external affairs, portrayed historical, civilisational and religious links as the binding force between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. The front portion of one of the tableaux depicted the ancient Nalanda University, which was a world-renowned centre for learning and Buddhist studies in ancient times.

The rear portion of the tableau portrayed the 'Bali Jatra', a festival held in Odisha to mark the day when ancient 'Sadhabas' (Oriya mariners) would set sail to the distant lands of Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo (all in Indonesia), and Sri Lanka.

The second tableau projected religion as one of the strongest linkages between India and Southeast Asia. The front portion of the tableau portrayed the Mahabodhi temple and Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.

The rear part depicted a melange of diverse Southeast Asian Ramayanas. Various regions of ASEAN have their own versions of the Ramayana. Couples wearing traditional attires of the 10 ASEAN countries and carrying flags of the member nations accompanied the tableaux.

Leaders of 10 ASEAN countries joined President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Republic Day parade and were seen sharing light moments with each other and capturing memories in their cameras.

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singaporean Premier Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah attended the event.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and Cambodian Premier Hun Sen also watched the grand parade. The participation of the ASEAN leaders at the event comes amid China's growing efforts to expand its influence in the region.

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